For a series that needed a shot in the arm in the worst way after staging a two-day non-race in Texas, the Verizon IndyCar Series came up with a timely home-run. If you kept up with this site throughout the weekend, you’ve undoubtedly seen me gush about Road America. I had been wanting to go to a race there for thirty years or so. Now that I’ve finally done it, I want more.
On the surface, it appears that this was not much of a contest. Will Power started on the pole and led all but four laps. At different points in the race, it appeared he had checked out. But Tony Kanaan reeled him in and at times looked as if he would pass him for the lead. But going into the last lap, Kanaan had only one push-to-pass, while Power still had three. Kanaan would later say that he knew it would take a miracle to overtake Power. It didn’t happen.
But Kanaan would finish second to Power, and Graham Rahal would take the last step on the podium.
TV Coverage: We did watch some of yesterday’s broadcast last night online. We didn’t hear or see much of it, but what we heard was good. It was good to have Leigh Diffey back in the booth, and Paul Tracy continued to impress me as possibly being the best current IndyCar analyst in the business. We’ll watch the DVR of the race when we get back home.
Good weekend for ECR: Not only does Josef Newgarden deserve a great deal of credit for racing just two weeks after a horrifying crash in which he suffered a fractured bone in his hand with a broken clavicle; but he was able to move up from his starting position on the back row and finish eighth. That was not a result of pit strategy or fuel mileage. It was because of hard driving.
Another shout out should go to his teammate Spencer Pigot, who finished ninth after starting seventeenth.
You have to feel for JR Hildebrand. Less than two weeks ago, he was excited to learn that he had been tabbed to fill in for Newgarden for however long he would be out. He probably thought he was assured of at least driving at Road America, and probably at Iowa. Instead, he made the trip to Elkhart Lake to be a spectator. I’m happy that Newgarden was able to drive and not miss a start, but you’ve got to feel sorry for Hildebrand.
Montoya woes continue: Once again, Juan Montoya had a poor qualifying effort and did not produce in the race. He started fourteenth yesterday and was probably lucky to finish seventh. I don’t think he made a lot of friends in the paddock after bumping into several of them on Sunday.
After winning the season opener, Montoya is sitting in a forgettable ninth place in points.
Same for Marco: For most of the day Marco Andretti was languishing in and around nineteenth place, after starting twenty-first. The good news is that he moved up nine positions from his starting point. The bad news is that once again, Marco found himself in a hole by starting in the back.
All in all: I would come across as very repetitive if I carried on anymore about how much I enjoyed attending the race at Road America. I was not alone. The CEO of Road America said afterwards that the attendance for yesterday’s was probably the largest in the track’s history; which dates back to 1955.
I was so impressed with the track as well as the fans. The fans at Road America have to be the most well-behaved fans I’ve ever seen. They are polite, sober and respectful. Best of all, they know what they came to see and they appreciate it
After watching how this race came off with such a large attendance, you wonder why other tracks can’t do it like this. IndyCar came out of this weekend smelling like a rose.
Please Note: Today, Susan and I are taking a little vacation time and will be travelling over to Michigan. Therefore, I will take a vacation away from this site. After today, there will be no more posts here until I return Wednesday July 6th. – GP